CD Review: The Killers

By Taylor Toothman |

The thumping glitter of the Killers’ fourth album will reverberate and sparkle inside your head until you can’t get the songs out of it. Day & Age is more than just another mentionable addition to the band’s repertoire. It is a marvelously written and beautifully orchestrated beacon of hope for the previously dismal future of music.

“Human” features some of the most interesting synth, drum and string combinations produced for mainstream radio in recent years. Lead vocalist and lyricist Brandon Flowers’ words are funky, mystical and, as usual, a little confusing. If anyone knows what “Are we humans or are we dancers” means, please let me know. Maybe they’re trying to say that “when we dance we’re superhuman.” But the melody is timeless and unforgettable. And boy, does the group know how to work a hook. I’ve been humming that one confusing line over and over for weeks.

The Killers have always been upfront about their devotion to shimmery Eurobands of yesteryear, such as David Bowie and Duran Duran, but with “Spaceman” they officially time travel to a dance floor in the 1980s. Synths bang out the melodies, sounds weave in and out of each other, and I can feel the techno lights bounce off my closed eyes as I superhumanly dance with a happily inexpressible feeling that no other modern music creates.

The rest of the album is eclectic and all over the world map, but each song blends with the next, and always eventually returns to the group’s core belief in a beautiful, hummable melody and in mysteriously infectious dancability. The island syncopation of “I Can’t Stay” and the Oriental flare of “Neon Tiger” sound perfectly content as track buddies 7 and 8.

While the seven-minute “Goodnight, Travel Well” sounds like it was penned by the Grim Reaper, and seems an oddly dark ending to a furiously upbeat and exciting album, it just goes to show that the Killers are always one-upping the status quo. I’ve heard complaints that the Killers overproduce their tracks. Too many instruments, too much sound. Who are these people? I hope we’re not friends. How would the Killers be the Killers any other way? Their ambitious songs need room to explode and show listeners their enormous potential. And no Killers explosion has been bigger – or better – than Day & Age.

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